Director and Writer Jeff Rosenberg and Co-Writer Laura Jacqmin Talk About Making the film.
Lori (Aya Cash) and Doug( William Jackson Harper) have been together for 10 years. But when Lori reacts badly to Doug’s surprise proposal just before her little sister’s wedding, he dumps her. Not wanting to steal the spotlight, Doug and Lori pretend they’re still together. However, raw emotions and tempting flirtations with other wedding guests make pretending a lot harder than they’d anticipated.
Starring:Aya Cash, William Jackson Harper, Sarah Bolger, Tony Cavalero, Kobi Libbi, Azita Ghanizada, Zak Steiner & Peri Gilpin
- PRODUCED BY JOHN HERMANN & MATT RATNER
- PRODUCERS MASON NOVICK & JEFF ROSENBERG
ORIGIN STORY/ WE BROKE UP is director/co-writer Jeff Rosenberg and co-writer/EP Laura Jacqmin’s first feature film collaboration, but the two have been friends since middle school. As they entered Shaker Heights High School (recently made famous by the Hulu series “Little Fires Everywhere”), they enrolled in playwriting classes together, and both started to have plays produced in the theater department’s yearly festival of one-acts, New Stages. By the time they were seniors, they started collaborating in earnest, producing each other’s plays and having conversations about what they might do next. After some college drift, each wound up out in Los Angeles, on opposite ends of the TV spectrum: Jeff on the directing side (2nd and 1st AD on THE LEAGUE, DOCUMENTARY NOW!, VEEP and THE GOOD PLACE), Laura on the writing side (GRACE & FRANKIE, GET SHORTY, ONE PIECE, JOE EXOTIC).
At a 2012 dinner, Jeff pitched Laura the logline for the project: a romantic comedy about a breakup, shared equally between both members of the couple. Laura was immediately enthusiastic, and each started writing the script in little bursts, emailing pages back and forth to each other until they had a complete draft. It would take another 6 years to recruit the ideal cast and crew and to put together financing. They later recruited another SHHS grad, Matt Ratner (who’d acted in one of Jeff’s New Stages plays), as a producer.
MORE ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
– WE BROKE UP was shot entirely on location in Los Angeles, CA. More than 90% of the film was shot at Calamigos Ranch in the Malibu mountains. Numerous film/TV productions have shot here, including WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER: FIRST DAY OF CAMP (Netflix), YOU (Netflix), GREY’S ANATOMY (ABC), BUNHEADS (ABC Family), and WAYNE’S WORLD 2.
– Director Jeff Rosenberg first discovered Calamigos when he was working as the 1st AD on VEEP (HBO) in 2019. As he wandered around the Ranch (which contains a fully operational hotel, restaurant, hiking trails, carnival rides, duck pond, waterfall, winery, and more), he realized it might work for WE BROKE UP. After touring the property with co-writer Laura Jacqmin, they started modifying the script so that almost the entire thing could be shot at this one location.
– Due to actor availability, filming had to be completed within an unusually narrow 15- day window in February 2020. We had to work with incredible efficiency, sometimes shooting as many as 8 pages a day.
– Within 16 days of wrap, the state of California was placed under its first stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic, halting hundreds of local productions. Post- production was immediately switched to remote operation, with all editing and music composition for the film done via online collaboration.
– Mason Novick first reached out to Jeff Rosenberg about getting involved with the project on the day that Jeff’s son was born, forcing him to set his newborn child down so he could attempt to craft a reply to the career-changing inquiry. Before Jeff could even send, Mason called to check in and they set up a meeting for a couple weeks later once things had settled.
Director: Jeff Rosenberg
Writers: Jeff Rosenberg & Laura Jacqmin
Produced by: John Hermann & Matt Ratner
Producers: Mason Novick & Jeff Rosenberg
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